London Court Orders Alison-Madueke to Wear Electronic Tag
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, who faces bribery charges filed against her by the United Kingdom (UK) government, was on Monday granted bail in a London court.
Reading his judgement, District Judge Michael Snow granted her bail in terms and conditions, including a curfew that ordered her to stay indoors between 11 pm and 6 am. He also ordered her to always wear an electronic tag and imposed a £70,000 surety to be paid before she could leave the court building on Monday.
According to Reuters, the former minister, during her Monday appearance at Westminster Magistrates Court, spoke only to give her name, date of birth, and address.
The charges against her were read out in court, but she was not asked to formally enter a plea. Her lawyer, Mark Bowen, told the court she would be pleading not guilty.
She is scheduled to have her next court appearance at Southwark Crown Court, which deals with serious criminal cases on October 30.
Business Post reported last month that Mrs Alison-Madueke, who was Nigeria’s petroleum minister between 2010 and 2015, was charged with bribery offences, following a National Crime Agency investigation.
She allegedly received bribes as Nigeria’s petroleum minister in the form of cash, luxury goods, flights on private jets, and the use of high-end properties in Britain in return for awarding oil contracts.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Andy Young, accused her of accepting a wide range of advantages in cash and in-kind from people who wanted to receive or continue to receive the award of oil contracts said to be worth billions of Dollars in total.
The advantages, according to the prosecutor, included a delivery of £100,000 in cash, the payment of private school fees for her son, and the use and refurbishment of several luxurious properties in London and in the English countryside.
They also included the use of a Range Rover car, payment of bills for chauffeur-driven cars, furniture, and purchases from the upmarket London department store Harrods and from Vincenzo Caffarella, which sells Italian decorative arts and antiques.
Mrs Alison-Madueke, 63, has served as the president of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and was a key figure in the Nigerian government between 2010 and 2015.
The former minister, who has subsisting criminal summons issued against her by an Abuja court was arrested in London in 2015, shortly after stepping down as minister.